Our friend: “America’s Got Talent” Finalist Gregory Popovich
“Popovich and the Voice of the Fabled American West” – the first film for performer Gregory Popovich and second feature film for local brothers Jerry and Mike Thompson – will premiere at the Las Vegas Film Festival this weekend and to the public during a screening at the end of the month.
The family friendly film tells the story of Popovich, a former circus legend struggling as a street performer on the wild streets of Las Vegas. When his junkyard home full of stray animals is put in danger, he and his animal pals use all their circus tricks to save it. See the trailer for the film here.
This summer, the film competed in the 17th Annual Dances with Films festival in Los Angeles and won the Audience Choice Award.
The Lied Animal Foundation will receive $1 from every ticket sold to the public screening.
WHO: Gregory Popovich, star of the film as well as of the Strip favorite the “World Famous Popovich Comedy Pet Theater” at Planet Hollywood, along with the film’s directors and Las Vegas natives, Jerry and Mike Thompson (Rancho High School and UNLV graduates), will be available for interviews before and after the screening. The film features more than 45 animals, most were rescued from the local Lied Animal Foundation.
WHEN: Las Vegas Film Festival – 1:20 p.m., Sunday, Aug. 3
Public Screening – 5 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 30-31
WHERE: Las Vegas Film Festival: Public Screening:
Inspire Theater Brendan Theaters, inside the Palms
Corner of Fremont Street and Las Vegas 4321 W. Flamingo Road
Boulevard in Downtown Las Vegas Las Vegas, NV 89103
Aug. 28, 2014- 6-7pm PST 1230AM KLAV in LV & The Web
Bachman & Turner
(Fred Turner on left)
Fred Turner, of Bachman & Turner, guests on Las Vegas Backstage Talk with Comedian Michele LaFong.
The musicians at the heart of legendary band Bachman-Turner Overdrive are recording and touring again as a new, full-throttle rock machine: Bachman & Turner. They will be appearing at The Cannery on Aug. 30, at 8pm.
After over 20 years of fan demand, Randy Bachman and Fred Turner-two giants of rock n’ roll-are finally re-united.
The duo and their top-notch band have released their first new single in two decades, “Rollin’ Along,” which is currently available for streaming at their website bachmanandturner.com and for sale at iTunes. The track offers fans a long-awaited glimpse into Bachman & Turner’s self-titled, brand new album currently set for a September 7th release on E1 Music (Canada), and RBE Music/Fontana (U.S.). Bachman & Turner’s upcoming studio album will be stocked with all original new tracks penned by the pair; in addition to “Rollin’ Along,” the album’s anthems include “Rock and Roll Is the Only Way Out” and “Slave To the Rhythm,” which have a sound that seamlessly fits alongside Bachman-Turner Overdrive classics “Takin’ Care of Business” and “You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet.”
Over the course of a four-year run, Bachman-Turner Overdrive sold in excess of 30 million records, earning a staggering 120 platinum, gold and silver discs, and notching up hits in more than 20 countries. The band reached #1 on Billboard’s singles chart (“You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet”) and album chart (Not Fragile), as well as scoring another handful of hits including “Taking Care of Business,” “Hey You,” “My Wheels Won’t Turn” and “Looking Out for #1.”
With the two singers sharing lead vocal duties, the album features smoking mid-tempo anthems such as “Rock ‘N’ Roll is the Only Way Out” and “Rollin’ Along,” as well as the funky riff of “Moonlight Rider” and a slow-burning blues shuffle, “Waiting Game.” In addition, tracks like “Slave to the Rhythm” offer a gratifying fusion of chords with catchy choruses, not to mention the distinctive growling vocals familiar to fans from Bachman-Turner Overdrive classics such as “Let it Ride” and “Roll on Down the Highway.”
For more go to their website: bachmanandturner.com
Actress and comedienne Sommore guests on LVBST with Comedian Michele LaFong.
Equal parts classy and sassy, Sommore’s frank, fearless routines and controversial wit have garnered loyal fans worldwide. Among the top-grossing stand-up comediennes in the United States and abroad, Oprah Winfrey proclaimed her “a force to be reckoned with in the new millennium.”
New Jersey native Sommore began her career as the first woman to host BET’s ”Comic View,” later hosting Russell Simmons’ “Def Comedy Jam” and “Showtime at the Apollo.” In 2000, she entered “The Guinness Book of World Records,” performing for an audience of more than 50,000 people in Atlanta as part of the “Queens of Comedy” tour. A recording of the show became the longest-running and highest-rated special in the history of Showtime Networks. She is the 1995 recipient of the Richard Pryor Award for Comic of the Year.
Sommore’s film credits include roles in “Soul Plane,” “Friday After Next” and “Something New.” She has also graced the small screen, appearing on “Flavor of Love,” as a regular on “1 vs. 100” and competing for the winning team on season six of “Celebrity Fit Club.” Her comedy specials “The Queen Stands Alone” (Comedy Central, 2008) and “Chandelier Status” (Showtime Networks, 2012) earned rave reviews.
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Aug. 21, 2014- 6-7pm PST 1230AM KLAV in LV & The Web
Comedian Rickey Smiley, and Jay Siegel of Jay Siegel’s Tokens guests on Las Vegas Backstage Talk radio show with Comedian Michele LaFong.
A notable “clean” comic, Smiley finds comedy in everyday observations. He brings his cast of beloved original characters with him to Las Vegas, including church lady “Mrs. Bernice Jenkins,” “Lil’ Daryl,” “Joe Willie” and redneck “Beauford.”
Smiley is perhaps most famous for his prank calls, in which he presents absurd situations and cases of mistaken identity in the voices of one or more of his original characters. His six comedy albums of prank calls have garnered favorable reviews.
Star of his own top-rated, nationally syndicated radio show, “The Rickey Smiley Morning Show” is heard on urban radio stations across the country. It features Smiley’s signature prank phone calls, news and music, as well as interviews with entertainers including Kevin Hart, Ne-Yo, Ice Cube and Nicki Minaj.
Taking his comedy talents to the silver screen, Smiley has appeared in films such as “Friday After Next,” “First Sunday,” and “Baggage Claim.” He has also hosted and appeared on “BET’s Comic View” and appeared on “Comedy Central Presents,” as well as HBO’s “Def Comedy Jam” and “Def Comedy Jam: All Stars.” The third season of Smiley’s sitcom “The Rickey Smiley Show” recently aired on TV One.
Jay Siegel’s Tokens
Jay Siegel guests on LVBST. “An Evening of Pop and Doo Wop” Features Jay Siegel’s Tokens, Joey Dee & The Starliters and The Angels.
Jay Seigel’s Tokens are best known for their doo wop hits, “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” and “Tonight I Fell in Love.” The group later expanded into being the first vocal group to help produce singles for other artists, contributing to huge hits like 1962’s “He’s So Fine” by the Chiffons. Later productions include Tony Orlando and Dawn, The Happenings, Randy and The Rainbows, and Robert John. In addition to their contributions to pop music, members of the group have worked on advertising jingles for Clairol, General Foods, Wrigley’s gum, Sunkist, Wendy’s and more.Share on Facebook Tweet
Aug. 14, 2014- 6-7pm PST 1230AM KLAV in LV & The Web
Comedian Joy Behar, former Co-Host of The View returns to Las Vegas Backstage Talk with Comedian Michele LaFong.
Whether Behar is performing standup or interviewing celebrities and politicians, she has been recognized as innovative comedic talent and a leading woman both on television, stage and the big screen. In addition to co-hosting ABC’s Emmy-winning daytime talker “The View” for 12 seasons, Behar hosted “The Joy Behar Show” on HLN and “Joy Behar: Say Anything!” on Current TV.
In the 1980’s, Behar set out to pursue comedy professionally and instantaneously received bookings from famous New York clubs including Caroline’s and Catch a Rising Star. She went on to win three MAC Awards and a CableACE Award later in her career.
Joy will be appearing at The Venetian as part of The Lipshtick series on Aug. 22 & 23
Joy Behar and Colin Quinn remember working for LaFong Productions.
Donny Most guests on LVBST with Comedian Michele LaFong.
Don is probably best known for his co-starring role as Ralph Mouth in the long running television series “Happy Days”. During this time, he worked with such emerging talents as Ron Howard and Garry Marshall. Recently, Don was seen in a recurring role on the hit TV show – “Glee”, as well as starring roles in the indie film – “The Yankles”, and“Chez Upshaw”, starring Kevin Pollack and Illeana Douglas. He just finished starring in “Campin Buddies”, along with a role in the independent film – “Remember Isobel”, and the film short – “Duality.” Most’s other feature film credits include “ED TV”, directed by Ron Howard; “Crazy Mama”, directed by Jonathan Demme, and “The Great Buck Howard”, starring John Malkovich. In television, his other guest starring roles include “Men Of A Certain Age”, “Century City”, ‘Star Trek:Voyager’, ‘Yes, Dear’, ‘The Crow, ‘Sabrina’, ‘Sliders’, ‘Dark Skies’ and ‘The Family Guy’.
Following in the footsteps of some of his peers, Don has now directed three feature films. “His first, “The Last Best Sunday”, had its World Premiere at the Seattle International Film Festival, and was a feature film winner at the Telluride IndieFest. “Moola”, starring William Mapother, Shailene Woodley, Treat Williams, Daniel Baldwin, and Curtis Armstrong, premiered at The Newport
Beach Film Festival, where it earned Most The Outstanding Achievement in Directing Award. Don also directed “Harley’s Hill”, his first family film, which was recently seen on Showtime, Starz and Encore.
In another area, Don has recently gone back to his first love – singing. Don has always loved the standards/swing/big band style of music, and has just mounted his show – “Donny Most Sings And Swings”. He recently performed it at “Vitello’s Jazz Club”, in Studio City, Los Angeles to great acclaim.
Most will be appearing at The Catalina Jazz Club, Aug. 20, 8:30pm
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Aug. 7, 2014- 6-7pm PST 1230AM KLAV in LV & The Web
Rudy Ruettiger guests on Las Vegas Backstage Talk with Comedian Michele LaFong in-studio.
VOICES OF RUDY: THE JOURNEY TO THE MOVIE’ MAKES WORLD PREMIERE AT TROESH STUDIO THEATER IN THE SMITH CENTER
One-Man Show Starring Rudy Ruettiger Shares Inspiring Life Story
TWEET: “Voices of Rudy:The Journey To The Movie” starring Rudy Ruettiger debuts
@TroeshStudioTheater – Smith Center Aug. 9-7 p.m. Tickets $34-$39.
One of the most inspiring movies of our time, “Rudy,” is now a one-man show starring Rudy Ruettiger and will make its world premiere at the Troesh Studio Theater in The Smith Center Saturday, Aug. 9 at 7 p.m.
Ruettiger will entertain and inspire as he shares his life story of how he accomplished his dream of going to Notre Dame and how he convinced Hollywood to make a movie of his life, which earned him an invitation to the White House.
“I am so excited to be a part of such an inspirational project,” said the show’s producer/director Tony Sacca. “Rudy has touched the world with his movie and now he will again touch and inspire people with his one-man play.”
The play will include a multi-media presentation with scenes from the blockbuster movie as well as personnel photos of his family of 14 brothers and sisters. As Ruettiger tells his story, he will share many voices of people who influenced his life as well as naysayers that he confronted on his journey.
Comic impressionist Rich Natole will create some of the celebrity voices such as Bill Clinton when Rudy was invited to the White House and Sylvester Stallone who was among the first to see the screen play and regretted passing on the project after he saw the film and met Ruettiger.
by Michele LaFong
August’s LV Backstage Talk column in Casino Player Magazine and Gaming Today.
Steve Rossi: May 25, 1932 – June 22, 2014
Show-biz Legend Steve Rossi was a frequent favorite in-studio guest on Las Vegas Backstage Talk radio show. I first met him in ’94 at my variety show “Vegas Live” starring Michele LaFong, at The Debbie Reynolds Hotel and Casino. He was very supportive, and came in frequently to watch the show, hang-out and schmooze…and what a fun schmoozer he was! Even back then he brought the party with him where ever he went. He is greatly missed. On June 26, in Steve’s honor we replayed his very first LVBST interview. It was incredibly colorful and entertaining. He shared his many experiences, lessons and stories in his amazing fifty-five year career in show business which covered everything from what it was like to room with Howard Stern many years ago when he was managing the frequently fired “Shock Jock,” to the real reason he claimed that he and Marty Allen could not get back together… not even for one last TV Anniversary Special that Steve claimed was offered to them last year for over a million dollars. The show is worth listening to and is archived on Lasvegasbackstagetalk.com.
Clint Holmes returned in-studio live on June 19, to update us on the exciting news of his new CD release, and monthly resident performances at The Smith Center on the first weekend of every month.
Mostly known for being the former co-host of ABC’s The View, Joy Behar will return to Vegas to perform a weekend of stand-up on Aug.22 & 23 as part of the new “Lipshtick Series” at The Venetian. She got nabbed-up pretty quickly after her successful engagement at The Orleans this past January. Apparently much of the general public was unaware of what an accomplished Stand-up Comedian Joy was. Back in the 80’s, when I was a touring headline comedian, I had a business called LaFong Productions. Joy was one of my top go to comedians that I booked in my 21 rooms. Come to think of it many of the comedians that I booked have done incredibly well in their careers including Kevin James, and Comedian and YouTube Sensation Vic Dibitetto, who recently got cast by Kevin in Mall Cop 2, teamed-up with Actor Nick Turturro (mostly known for his role in NYPD Blue.) I recently aired the lively interview with the pair on June 12, and it too is archived on our website. An edited video clip of Nick and Vic is posted on casinocenter.com
Comedian Russell Peters, currently a judge on NBC’s Last Comic Standing with Roseanne Barr and Keenon Ivory Wayans, returned on LVBST and will return to the Pearl at The Palms on Aug. 2 exploring new material and crowd work. “Although the taping for Last Comic Standing has concluded, the competition is still playing out every week on television and even the three finalists do not know the outcome! We taped three different endings and they do not know which one will be aired.”
Jay Leno returns to The Mirage on August 11, and Nov. 21 & 22. He puts on a very strong well-paced, fluff-free show that is definitely worth catching. Last month, I aired Part 1 & 2 of a long interview with Jay covering everything from his comedy writing to why he doesn’t have a team of security escorting him around like most other celebrities.
Jay explained the security question with a great story. “Once I was at one of these hotels, and they insisted on sending two security people to walk me to the showroom…so these two huge goons come up with suits on that look like they are made out of sofa material, and we walk into the casino… and as we’re coming through they were actually pushing people…literally shoving old ladies out of the way…and people were like “screw you Leno!” “and I’m like no let me stop and take a picture, sign an autograph…it takes an extra few minutes but everybody’s happy. Having security walk me to a show was so much worse!
Superstar Al Pacino will bring his “Pacino: One Night Only” show to The Mirage Saturday, Aug. 16 at 7:30 p.m. This is an opportunity to step into Pacino’s world as he shares his passion for acting and directing in an up-close-and-personal setting in the Terry Fator Theatre. The evening will explore his life beginning in the 1960s when he performed Off-Broadway and will follow his career to present day. The show will include previously untold stories, never-before-seen clips, and a question and answer session. Pacino is one of the rare winners of the acting Triple Crown: the Oscar, Tony and Emmy Award.
Other Picks: Buckcherry, Otherwise, Hard Rock, Aug. 1, Caroline Rhea, Wendy Liebman, The Venetian, Aug 1 & 2, The Goo Goo Dolls, Daughtry, Plain White T’s, Red Rock Resort, Aug. 1, Herman’s Hermits with Peter Noone, South Point, Aug. 1-3, Journey, Steve Miller Band, Mandalay Bay, Aug 1, Kenny Wayne Shepard, Los Lonely Boys, The Palms, Aug. 1, Lady Gaga, MGM Grand, Weezer, Cosmopolitan, Aug. 1, Aerosmith Slash, MGM Grand, Aug. 2, Jonny Lang, Boulder Station, Aug. 2, Blues Traveler, Sugar Ray, Smash Mouth, Uncle Cracker, Golden Nugget, Aug. 8, Dirty Heads, Pepper, Aug. 8, Lisa Lampanelli, The Venetian, Aug. 8 & 9, Rob Schneider, South Point, Aug. 8-10, Aaron Neville & Dr. John, The Cannery, Aug. 9, Aries Spears, Mandalay Bay, Aug. 9, Kathy Griffin, The Mirage, Aug. 9, Lynard Skynyrd, Golden Nugget, Aug. 9, Counting Crows, Mandalay Bay, Aug. 10, 38 Special, Eastside Cannery, Aug. 10, Cesar Millan, “Leader of the Pack” Palms, Aug. 15, Whitney Cummings, The Venetian, Aug. 15 & 16, Yes, Hard Rock, Aug. 15, The Guess Who, Eastside Cannery, Aug. 16, ZZ Top, Jeff Beck, Hard Rock, Aug. 16, Daniel Tosh, The Mirage, Aug. 22 & 23, Dave Collier, South Point, Aug. 22-24, Rock N Blues Fest with Johnny Winter Band, Edgar Winter Band, Cannery, Aug. 23, John Legend, The Cosmopolitan, Aug. 24, The Summer Nationals Tour, featuring The Offspring, with Special Guests, Bad Religion, Pennywise, Stiff Little Fingers, Hard Rock, Aug. 27, The Adam Carolla Show, Treasure Island, Aug. 29, Bill Medley with McKenna Medley, South Point, Aug. 29-31, Joe Rogan, The Mirage, Aug. 29, Bachman & Turner, Cannery, Aug. 30, Keith Urban, The Cosmopolitan, Aug. 31.